The future of creativity

Adobe study finds that the creator economy is having a substantial impact on society.

(Source: Adobe)

How is creativity changing the world? To better answer that question, creative software vendor Adobe surveyed those in the forefront of online creativity: creators in the creator economy—the economy empowering people who are monetizing their content, goods, and services online by leveraging their own creativity, talents, and passions. The information and insights gleaned from that endeavor are now available in the Adobe “Future of Creativity” study, which provides a comprehensive look into the global creator economy and how creativity is changing in certain areas across the globe.

First, who are considered “creators” for this survey? They are defined as professionals and non-professionals creating original content for their jobs or passions, including designers, photographers, filmmakers, illustrators, hobbyists, and others. Influencers are a subset of creators defined as those with 5,000 followers or more who leverage social media to influence their audience.

To understand the current state of creators globally, Adobe wanted to know who the creators of today are and how content creation provides a voice to those of varying backgrounds; how many creators are influencers; the impact creation work, which is largely digital, has on one’s mental health; and how creativity is a force for positive change.

The study finds that across the globe, the creator economy is vibrant and growing, especially during the past two years, when it grew by more than 165 million creators to 303 million creators globally since 2020. In fact, 52% of creators said they began posting social content in the past two years. And areas including Brazil, South Korea, Spain, and France have shown significant jumps in new creators. Markets like Brazil, Spain, and South Korea have the highest concentration of creators, while those such as the US, Brazil, and Germany have the biggest creator populations.

Additionally, the study finds that the creator economy continues to grow and is reshaping every aspect of culture and society, from the future of work to social causes to mental health. Many creators said they create to express themselves, and they look beyond monetary rewards. Approximately half cited the ability to express themselves, to do something fun, and to explore passion or interest as their top motivation for creating. Less than one-third said they create for monetary reasons.

Key findings of the story include:

  • A total of 48% of creators are universally motivated by the same goal: freedom of expression.
  • Less than one-third of creators (26%) are motivated by money.
  • For the majority of creators, creating is a hobby or side hustle. Six in 10 creators have full-time jobs.
  • Nearly all creators (95%) take action to advance or support causes that are important to them.
  • Most creators (69%) and influencers (84%) say creating and sharing online content is a creative outlet they can’t find elsewhere.
Millennials comprise a large demographic of creators, according to the Adobe survey findings. (Source: Adobe)